The last time that Sadi Giles and Bria Bullard went to the state track meet, one was competing and the other was cheering her on from the stands of Mike A. Myers Stadium.
Fast forward a year later and both Giles and Bullard are heading back to Austin, this time as competitors.
Giles — a senior who signed with Texas State on Wednesday — will be running the 100 and 200 meter dash, the same events she qualified for last year. As for Bullard, the sophomore will be competing alongside her teammate in the 100 meter dash in her first state meet.
While both will be looking to be on the medal stand by the end of Friday, they’re also excited for the opportunity presented to them.
“Last year, I went to go watch her at the state meet and now I’m excited to be competing with her,” Bullard said. “It just shows that I’ve come a long way.”
“I feel thankful to God,” Giles said. “I had a rocky start to the season and I feel like I’ve come a long way. I’ve been holding myself together and staying faithful.”
The duo are also the only two runners in Class 5A that are sending two qualifiers from the same school into the same event.
“They just go back and forth and it’s always competitive,” Sherman head coach Mark Wilkinson said. “The fact that no other school has girls running in the 100 from the same school is pretty special in itself.”
Both runners finished second and third in both the 100 and 200 meter dashes — which included a mere .05 second difference in the 100 — at the Class 5A Region I track meet in Lubbock. Giles, who ran an 11.75 in the 100 and a 24.41 in the 200, qualified for both races but Bullard had to wait and see if her time of 11.80 seconds in the 100 would be enough to earn a wild card entry.
“It was nerve-wracking having to wait but it feels like I got a second chance,” Bullard said. “I’m ready to show everyone what I can do.”
As for Giles, she has plenty of motivation heading into the weekend. After finishing fourth in the 200 and seventh place in the 100 last year, she wants to build on that experience and end her high school career on a good note before heading off to San Marcos.
“I’m just going with the flow this week and I feel ready,” Giles said. “I came in last year knowing I had a chance to do well but everything is coming together to do even better. I’m still here ready to compete.”
The two girls also competed in the 400 relay along with Sanay’a Hunter and Jaydyn Bullard — Bria’s younger sister — during the regional meet. That experience along with their drive is something that Wilkinson has seen firsthand the impact it has for the rest of the program.
“I’m really proud of both of them,” Wilkinson said. “Bria’s come a long way and Sadi’s done a great job as a mentor to the younger girls. They were able to bring four more girls that were able to go. That builds success for the future.”
As for expectations, they both want to end on a good note and even aim for some new personal best times. If they can do that, they might find themselves together on the medal stand again.
“It feels good knowing that we’re putting Sherman on the map,” Giles said. “Bria and I have always been together and we both push and inspire each other to do better. I’m happy that she’s here coming with me.”